Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 6

Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 6

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Baltimore at NY Yankees
The Yankees look to build on their 9-1 record in Andy Pettitte's last 10 home starts against the Orioles. New York is the pick (-120) according to Dunkel, which has the Yankees favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-120)

Game 901-902: Miami at St. Louis (2:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Eovaldi) 15.395; St. Louis (Kelly) 16.944
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-175); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-175); Under

Game 903-904: Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs  (4:05 a.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Morton) 15.973; Cubs (Jackson) 14.873
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-125); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-125); N/A

Game 905-906: San Diego at Washington (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Marquis) 13.451; Washington (Zimmermann) 15.112
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Washington (-220); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-220); Under

Game 907-908: LA Dodgers at San Francisco (7:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Fife) 14.124; San Francisco (Bumgarner) 15.317
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 8
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-150); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-150); Over

Game 909-910: NY Mets at Milwaukee (7:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Marcum) 15.206; Milwaukee (Gallardo) 13.803
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-115); Over

Game 911-912: Atlanta at Philadelphia (7:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Hudson) 15.743; Philadelphia (Kendrick) 16.928
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-115); 8
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-105); Under

Game 913-914: Colorado at Arizona (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Pomeranz) 14.763; Arizona (Miley) 13.928
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Arizona (-160); 9
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+140); Over

Game 915-916: Baltimore at NY Yankees (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Tillman) 15.612; NY Yankees (Pettitte) 16.982
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-120); Under

Game 917-918: Minnesota at Toronto (1:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Pelfrey) 13.380; Toronto (Dickey) 15.246
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 2; 8
Vegas Line: Toronto (-210); 9
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-210); Under

Game 919-920: Oakland at Kansas City (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Parker) 15.823; Kansas City (Santana) 16.855
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-110); 8
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-110); Over

Game 921-922: Detroit at Cleveland (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Sanchez) 17.072; Cleveland (Carrasco) 14.936
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 2; 8
Vegas Line: Detroit (-150); 9
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-150); Under

Game 923-924: Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay (7:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Sale) 16.528; Tampa Bay (Moore) 15.312
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-145); 7
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+125); Over

Game 925-926: Houston at Texas (7:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Keuchel) 15.018; Texas (Darvish) 14.755
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Texas (-300); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+250); Over

Game 927-928: Boston at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Dempster) 16.808; LA Angels (Williams) 15.374
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 929-930: Seattle at Cincinnati (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Bonderman) 15.307; Cincinnati (Latos) 14.794
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-230); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+190); Over

WNBA

Connecticut at Indiana
The Sun look to take advantage of a Indiana team that is 0-6 ATS in its last 6 games against Eastern Conference opponents. Connecticut is the pick (+4 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the game Even. Dunkel Pick: Connecticut (+4 1/2)

Game 651-652: San Antonio at Los Angeles (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 106.139; Los Angeles 122.557
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 16 1/2; 156
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles by 13 1/2; 160 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-13 1/2); Under

Game 653-654: Seattle at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle 105.733; Washington 114.460
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 8 1/2; 149
Vegas Line & Total: Washington by 6 1/2; 144 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-6 1/2); Over

Game 655-656: Connecticut at Indiana (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Connecticut 109.770; Indiana 110.102
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 147
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 4 1/2; 142 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Connecticut (+4 1/2); Over

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Marc Lawrence

Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
Prediction: New York Yankees

When the Pinstripes send veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte to the hill against Chris Tillman and the Orioles Saturday afternoon at Yankees Stadium the Bronx Bombers will do so knowing Pettitte is at home 9-2 in his MLB career team starts against the Birds. Pettitte is also 4-0 his last four team starts during July. With that, look for the Yankees to improve to 18-12 in day games this season here today. We recommend a 1-unit play on the NY Yankees.

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Jimmy Boyd

Kansas City Royals -110

The Royals will have Ervin Santana and his 2.84 ERA on the mound today when they face the Oakland A's. Santana's record has been a bit deceiving because the Royals were going through a bad hitting slump earlier this season. Over their past seven games Kansas City has a .272 team batting average and they are scoring six runs per game in that span. With Kansas City hitting so well, I do not expect run support for Santana to be an issue today.

Oakland is going through a bit of a hitting slump now. They have a .240 batting average over their past seven games and they will have Jarrod Parker getting the start today. Parker has posted a 4.11 ERA in his 17 starts this season. Parker has just two starts in his career against the Royals and a 0-1 record. Santana on the other hand has a 14-6 record in his career against the Royals. He has posted a 2.09 ERA in a total of 25 games against Kansas City.

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Rob Vinciletti

Pittsburgh vs. Chicago
Play: Under

This game fits an excellent MLB Totals System direct from the Baseball database. We want to play the Under for road favorites like the Pirates that are off a road favored win if they scored 5 or more runs and had 10+ hits, and are taking on a home dog like the Cubs that are off a home dog loss and scored 4 or less runs, if the total was 8 or less in that loss. The Cubs are scoring 3 runs per game and hitting just .213 in Division games. The Pirates have C. Morton going today and he has a solid 2.50 era in his starts this season. He will oppose E. Jackson who went 7 solid innings in his last start vs the Pirates allowing just one run. All 3 of his starts against Pittsburgh this season have stayed under the total. The Pirates are the toughest team to score on in the league, allowing just 3.4 runs per game. Pirates are third in the league in striking out opponents with 7.8 per game. The Cubs have the 3rd best home era in the league and the Pirates the 3rd best road era Look for this one to stay under today.

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Brad Diamond

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants    
Play: San Francisco Giants

One of the more under appreciated hurlers over the last 1 ½ months in the National League is Madison Bumgarner (8-5, 3.08) of the Giants. In his last 33 innings of work the lefty has allowed just 8 earned runs, 4 of his 5 outings have been on the road. The Giants catch a major break, though, being at home to face right-handed youngster Stephen Fife of LA. The Los Angeles hurler has been dynamite in the month of June throwing 29 innings, while allowing just 5 earned runs. With the overnight line movement it appears the early money rests with the Dodgers. However, you might want to reverse your ticket if you’re thinking in the same context. Remember LA is a horrid 15-23 on the road this season with San Francisco a solid 24-15 at home. Further, the Giants are running 25-10 in home outings with Bumgarner and 15-3 vs. losing units, it looks like the value is actually with the home standing Giants. Oh, one final note, LA is 0-7 on the road versus LHP.

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Art Aronson

White Sox vs. Rays
Play: Under 7

Chris Sale (5-7, 2.79 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Sale is coming off a tough luck loss to the Indians on Sunday, giving up three earned runs off seven hit with one walk, striking out ten over eight innings. The southpaw continues to be the victim of poor run support and his win/loss record is obviously not indicative whatsoever of his overall fantastic season thus far. Sale comes into Tampa Bay with 114 K's over 106 1/3's innings of work and a very respectable 3.10 ERA road mark to throw opposite Matt Moore (11-3, 3.65 ERA) who is coming off a two-hit shutout of the Astros on Monday; Moore would walk three and strike out nine in the masterful performance. The hard-throwing southpaw has won his last three starts, having allowed only four runs over his last 19 1/3's frames of work to go along with 24 K's (note that Moore is 5-2 with a 3.99 ERA in front of the home town crowd in 2013). Two of the league's best going head to head; all signs point to a low-scoring pitchers duel.

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Jeffrey Brandes

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees    
Play: Baltimore Orioles

Pitchers:
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: CHRIS TILLMAN (R) ERA: 3.68 W/L: 10-2
NEW YORK YANKEES: ANDY PETTITTE (L) ERA: 4.40 W/L: 5-6

CHRIS TILLMAN has won seven straight decisions for the Orioles. He went 6-0 in June.

ANDY PETTITTE is 0-3 with a 5.84 ERA in his last four starts. The Yankees ended a 5 game losing streak to the Orioles last night with a walk off win and now sport a 5 game winning streak.

In the battle of 2 streaks, I'll take the hot pitcher.

Key Trends:
Baltimore is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games when playing NY Yankees

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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NY Mets vs. MilwaukeeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Over 8FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Considering the erratic performance patterns of both starting pitchers, and recent "totals" trends for each, "over" looks a proper call tonight at Miller Park. Note plenty of "overs" each way lately for both the visiting Mets (8-4 last 12) and host Brewers (6-0 last six).  And have little confidence in either of Saturday's starters, as New York's Shaun Marcum labors with a 1-9 record and 5.08 ERA, with recent efforts not any better (5.18 ERA last four starts), while Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo has completely lost the plot after his run of three straight scoreless efforts, getting hammered mercilessly in his last two outings when allowing 11 runs in just 7 IP.  And with both offenses demonstrating a bit more life in the past week, the "total" at 8 looks very easy for these teams to clear.

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Sean MurphyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota vs. TorontoFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Jays starter R.A. Dickey has turned in back-to-back strong performances, but I think that's about as much as we can expect from the reigning Cy Young winner right now.
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Even after a terrific showing against the Tigers on Canada Day, Dickey still owns a bloated 5.59 ERA at Rogers Centre. His home starts are averaging well north of 10 total runs per game.
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The Twins are coming off a shutout loss last night, but had scored 28 runs over their previous six games entering this series, so I'm not all that concerned.
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Minnesota will hand the ball to veteran right-hander Mike Pelfrey. He's endured a trying season so far, going 3-6 with a 6.11 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. The numbers get even worse on the road, where his ERA stands at 6.91.
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Of course, the Jays haven't exactly been tearing the cover off the ball lately, but they've also run into some tough pitching. After taking the opener of their series against Detroit the went 0-for-3 against Fister, Scherzer, and Verlander. They did bounce back last night, scoring four runs on 10 hits, and I expect to see some carry-over from that performance today.
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Note that Toronto is averaging north of five runs per game at home this season.
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The roof should be open at Rogers Centre on a warm, sunny afternoon in Toronto, and I expect to see the ball flying all over the park as this one cruises 'over' the total.

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Jim FeistFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago CubsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Pittsburgh PiratesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Pirates are 22-4 in their last 26 vs. a team with a losing record and in the thick of the pennant race. Starter Charlie Morton (2.50 ERA) is a fine young arm, walking only 6 in 18 innings. He faces a weak Chicago team with a bad offense, 18th in baseball in runs scored, 25th in on-base percentage. The Pirates are 20-6 in their last 26 home games vs. a right-handed starter and faces struggling righty Edwin Jackson (4-10, 5.75 ERA). Jackson has a 5.75 ERA and the 5.19 ERA he had in June is his best this season. He has not been a good addition to Wrigley Field, with a 1-5 record and a 6.69 ERA at home this season! Opponents are hitting .324 off him at home. Chicago is back this weekend from a long road trip and the Cubs are 16-37 in their last 53 vs. a team with a winning record.

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Don Best ConsensusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
Pick: Los Angeles DodgersFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Dodgers have been on a nice run as of late, going 11-2 in their last 13 games, while the Giants have been in a funk, going 1-10 in their last 11 games overall. Stephen Fife is 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in his last 3 starts, while Madison Bumgarner is 2-1 in his last 3 starts with a 2.14 ERA and 1.95 WHIP. Play the Dodgers.

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Sports Experts 17FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Miami Marlins at St. Louis CardinalsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -1.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The ST. LOUIS CARDINALS are coming of losing 2 out of 3 games against Albert Pujols Angels and just won 3 out of their last 10 when 3 weeks ago they were the best team in the majors. Now they face at home to a impressive team that sweep the best defensive team in the league (San Diego Padres) and also doing the same thing to one of the top teams winning 2 out of 3 (Atlanta Braves). As we predict and won the first game in Atlanta and gave out as a free pick Braves -1.5, today we will face the same situation here, all gamblers will go with the winners Marlins, but the hurt Cardinals will destroy them even with Joe Kelly (0-3) in the mount for St Louis.

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SPORTS WAGERS

Los Angeles +147 over SAN FRANCISCO

The Dodgers are just too hot and too dangerous offensively to ignore at this price. L.A. came in here last night and buried a red-hot Matt Cain en route to an easy 10-2 victory. Over the past 15 games, the Dodgers are in the top three in the league in several offensive categories, including team BA (.293), runs scored (77), HR’s (19), total bases (247) and over that same span no batting line-up has struck out fewer than L.A.’s. They Dodgers have also defeated the Giants in four straight while outscoring them 23-10. L.A. definitely has some swag these days. They are playing gritty ball, they have a rookie named Yasiel Puig that joins the great Joe DiMaggio as the only players in major league history with at least 40 hits and four home runs in their first calendar month in the majors. Puig has ignited the entire club. If Stephen Fife were still in Milwaukee, he’d be that teams’ ace. Pitching in the shadows of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu makes Fife less noticeable but he’s been one of the game’s best starters since rejoining the rotation in early June. Fife has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of six starts. In 41 frames, he has a strong BB/K split of 11/35. Fife also has a 51% groundball rate, a 1.12 WHIP, a 2.83 ERA with a skills supported 3.22 xERA. San Francisco appears to be a beaten down squad. Incredibly, these Giants have just 16 wins over their past 48 games. San Fran has dropped four in a row and 11 of its past 12 games. Madison Bumgarner is about the only thing the Giants have been able to count on this entire year. Still, he has just eight wins in 17 starts, he rarely gets any run support and it’s not easy to go out there every fifth day when the team you pitch for can’t score runs or can’t win a ball game. Sure, the Giants can win here but these fired up Dodgers have an equal or better chance of winning and the price on L.A is bordering on preposterous.


WASHINGTON -1½ +108 over San Diego

Speaking of teams that are heating up, one need not look further than these Nationals. Underachievers the entire season up to the end of June, Washington is now primed to make a big move. Loaded with offensive talent, pitching and a strong pen, don’t be surprised to see this team post the major’s best record from here on in. The Nats have already started to impose their will and it likely continues here. The Nats have scored eight runs or more in four of their past six, including the last two. That’s bad news for Jason Marquis. Not very skilled and past his prime, a decent control rate used to be Marquis' hallmark but that has gone south on him too. In 101 frames, Marquis was walked 60 batters and over his last five starts, he’s walked 24 in 37 frames. Marquis’s extremely fortunate 81% strand rate has kept his misleading 3.74 ERA from imploding but it’s only a matter of time before it does. The walks + 1.47 WHIP remind us that this guy is a pitching time bomb. Jordan Zimmerman has been untouchable in 10 home starts this season, going 9-0 with a 1.50 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and a BAA of .201 in 72 IP. Enjoying his career best groundball percentage, control, and xERA, Zimmerman continues to build upon an already dynamic skill set. Zimmerman will now face a slumping offensive squad with a .594 team OPS over the past two weeks.

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Wunderdog

Baltimore at New York Yankees
Pick: New York Yankees -110

Last season was magical for the Baltimore Orioles. It seemed that they were winning just about every extra innngs game they played, and Joe Johnson was closing the door for 51 saves with just three blown and going 2-1 as well. This season he is struggling, and served up a walk-off single last night for his sixth blown save - most in MLB this year, and he is also 2-7. The Yankees' offense is coming to life behind Almonte, Cano, Gardner, and Ichiro, and the Bombers have taken five straight. Andy Pettitte is 99-48 in his last 147 starts as a home favorite, and Yanks are also 40-14 in Pettitte's last 54 starts after they allowed 2 or fewer runs in their previous game. Pettitte has been the king of the hill vs. the O's, as the Yanks are 9-1 in his last 10 starts against them. Take the Yankees.

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John Ryan

Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels
Prediction: Boston Red Sox

The simulator shows a high probability that Boston will win this game. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 41-15 mark for 73% winners making 27 units per unit wagered since 1997. Play on all teams when the money line is +125 to -125 (BOSTON) starting a pitcher who gave up <=2 earned runs in his last 2 outings against opponent starting a pitcher who is working on 3 or less days rest. Boston is 9-1 over their last 10 games and have won five straight. They are batting 0.337 with a 0.389 OBP over their last seven games. Moreover, the Boston bullpen is vastly superior to the Angels edition. Boston has posted a 2.84 ERA with a 1.237 WHIP with 135 K's n 41 road games spanning 123 2/3 innings of work. Williams has not pitched well and is coming into this game having pitched July 3 where he yielded 7 ER in just 1 2/3 innings of work to the Cardinals. Can't imagine that he would now suddenly be confident of all his pitches having to face one of the best offenses in baseball tonight. Take Boston.

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Joe Gavazzi

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants
Play: Los Angeles Dodgers

Never easy to go against Bumgarner who is on a positive run and always solid at home. In fact, recently Bumgarner is 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA. In his last 3 home starts, Bumgarner is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA. Yet the numbers for Fife are comparable with a solid 2.83 ERA for the season, 1.21 WHIP and 35/11 KBB. In his last 3 starts, those numbers accrue to 2-0, 1.82 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. One area in which these teams are not comparable is in their recent overall record. The defending Champs enter on negative slides of 11-24, 1-10 scoring 28 total runs in their last 14 games. The reborn Dodgers are recently 11-2 averaging 5.5 runs per game with 13 or more hits in each of their last 5 games. At this huge price, we must make LA your Big Dog Play of the Day!

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Will Rogers

Chicago vs. Tampa Bay
Pick: Under

I'm expecting a good old fashioned pitcher's duel Saturday night when Chris Sale and the White Sox take on Matt Moore and the Rays.  As a result, this free play is on the Under.

Here are my keys to the game:

1.  Sale - Despite having a 2.79 ERA in 15 starts, Sale is only 5-7.  As you can then guess, he hasn't gotten a ton of run support and that's led to a lot of Under tickets cashing.  In fact, the Under is 10-3-2 in all Sale starts and that includes his team getting shutout in his most recent start, a 4-0 loss to the Indians.  Sale struck out 10 batters in the no-decision, allowing just three runs in eight innings.  He struck out 13 the start before that, again allowing just three runs in eight innings.  Going back two seasons, the Under is now 27-15 in all Sale starts, including 15-5 on the road when the number is 7 to 8.5.  Sale faced Tampa Bay once already this season and gave up only two runs in seven innings.

2.  Moore - He should have an even easier time with a White Sox offense that ranks near the bottom of MLB in most significant categories. Chicago is just 7-12 vs. lefties this year, averaging only 3.6 runs per game.  Moore just got done throwing seven scoreless innings in his last start, allowing only two hits to the Houston Astros. His ERA over his last three starts, all quality, is 1.86.  Earlier this year, Moore went six innings against the White Sox, allowed just one run on three hits, and struck out nine. 

3. X-Factor - Prior to yesterday, the White Sox had gone Under in five consecutive games.

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Jesse Schule

Miami vs. St. Louis
Pick: Under

The Cardinals host Miami Saturday Afternoon in Game 2 of this series after taking the opener by a score of 4-1 yesterday. We are expecting to see another low scoring affair this afternoon, as seven of the last eight games at Busch Stadium have seen fewer than eight runs scored.


Nate Eovaldi will toe the rubber for the visitors, and he's been pretty solid since getting the call up. Eovaldi (1-0, 2.00 ERA) tossed six scoreless innings allowing just four hits in a 6-2 win over the Padres his last time out. In three starts in the big leagues he's held opponents to two runs or less, and a maximum of four hits.

He's only faced the Cardinals once previously, allowing one run on five hits over five innings in a no decision at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals hand the ball to 25 year old Joe Kelly, who's still in pursuit of his first victory of the season. Kelly (0-3, 3.86 ERA) allowed one run on five hits over 5 1/3 innings against Oakland his last time out. He's only had one start prior to today's game, but he's been giving the Cardinals solid innings out of the bullpen all season.

The Marlins have seen him twice this year in a couple of brief appearances, recording a hit and no runs in 1 2/3 innings.

The total is sitting pretty high here for a matinee in the National League, and given what we have seen from the two starters, it doesn't look like runs will be easy to come by.

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Bryan Power

Detroit vs. Cleveland
Pick: Detroit

The Indians took a very bad 7-0 loss to the first place Tigers last night and it wasn't just that they were shutout, but the psychological effect of being humbled so badly in front of the first sellout crowd at Progessive Field s/ Opening Day (w/ ace Justin Masterson pitching!) could potentially have some long-standing effects.  I made the mistake of playing the Indians yesterday.  Not today...

The Tigers continue to have the Indians number in 2013, winning seven of nine head to head matchups. Speaking of having Cleveland's number, how about Anibal Sanchez, who gets the start for Detroit tonight?  In four starts last year, Sanchez posted a 1.75 ERA  against the Tribe.  He comes in here with a 2.75 ERA in 13 starts this season.  The Tigers have taken six in a row from the Indians, outscoring them 40-18 in the process. Really, the long-term prognosis for Cleveland staying in a pennant race with Detroit is not good.

While the Tigers have won four in a row overall, the Indians have dropped three straight.  Don't look for the home team to reverse things behind Carlos Carrasco, who has an 8.17 ERA in five starts.  He was fortunate enough to get bailed out in his last start despite allowing six runs to a terrible White Sox offense. He was not as fortunate when he faced Detroit earlier this year, again surrendering six runs (on 10 hits) in just four innings of work.  The Tribe lost that game 6-4, they'll lose again tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, July 6

Jeff Alexander

Cincinnati Reds -1½

It's hard not to like the Reds at home where they are 29-14 in their last 43. It's especially hard not to like them with Latos on the mound. The Reds are 31-12 in the righty's last 43 starts overall and 20-6 in his last 26 home starts. The Mariners are a lousy 37-96 in their last 133 road games as an underdog of +151 to +200. I just don't see Latos losing the pitching battle to Bonderman. Reds run line.

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